Locals Ayr views on their town’s future

Views on Ayr High Street were collected at drop-in sessions held in Ayr Town Hall.
Views on Ayr High Street were collected at drop-in sessions held in Ayr Town Hall.

Almost 3000 people have responded to the Ayr Your Views survey about the future of Ayr’s high street

The public were asked for their views on three proposals - a new leisure facility to replace the Citadel, new public space at the riverside site, and more residential properties in the high street.

The consultation, which ran until December 2018, met with a great response, with 2,700 surveys completed and 200 people attending drop-in events in Ayr Town Hall.

The majority of those taking part felt the Citadel Leisure Centre should be replaced with a modern facility and if it were to move closer to the town centre, 33% said they would use it more than they do now.

The proposal for public space at the riverside site across from the town hall received strong support, with 62% of respondents keen to create space which could be used for events, pop-up markets, exhibitions and performances.

The final part of the consultation focused on the current lack of residential property on the high street and 57% supported the idea of converting empty shops and retail space into new homes; 49% also supported a small number of residential units at the riverside site with 26% unsure.

Councillor Brian McGinley, economy and culture portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: “I would like to thank all those that took part in the consultation, it’s important that we continue to work with the public and be responsive to their views.

“I was really encouraged that nearly half of the responses came from young people under the age of 17 which underlines the importance of working together to protect our town centres for future generations.”

The council is now drawing up an action plan which it will share with the public in March, followed by more consultations on specific projects.

“Despite the changing nature of our high streets, it’s encouraging that 79% of those filling in the survey still visit Ayr Town Centre to shop,” added Mr McGinley.

“This may change in the future, however a modern leisure facility in the heart of the town, regular events and more people living nearby could mean a thriving town centre for many years to come.

“We will continue to engage with the public and key stakeholders throughout and I am looking forward to seeing more detailed proposals in due course.”